Well my lil' man was upset I didn't take him camping when I went to the BMR so he started placing his 'camping gear' by his bedroom door all week and kept telling me he was going camping. I asked who was taking him and he told me I was, so I decided what the heck, might as well. This was his first overnight stay in the woods. He did 2 nights and 3 days. We started on Friday night by setting up camp at the Dismals Canyon in NW Alabama. Saturday, we canoed Bear Creek, went back to camp, cooked some burgers, and camped again. Sunday we got up, packed, and then hiked through the canyon for a few hours. After we left, we drove down the road about 45 minutes and hiked at the Natural Bridge for a little while before coming home. Overall, everyone did great and we all had an awesome time.
Mom and 'sissy' setting up camp.
Sidenote: Those stickers explain a lot.
"I can tour all by myelf, DEAD HEAD." I had forgotten about that sticker. It was fun pulling out the old tour stove and getting bombarded with questions by my daughter. It's been about 4 years since I took her camping last. Now her brother is 4 and it's back to "Adventure, here we come."
Lil' man entertaining us with his mad harmonica skills. That's a pre WWII Hohner Chromatica Harmonica he's playing. I've had it since it I was a little guy. I can't play, but the boy seems to be a natural. We even helped him with some knee slapping action. What a fun first night.
Early next morning, it was just the two boys up and getting breakfast ready for the girls before we went canoeing. Hearty breakfast included sausage links, Western style scrambled eggs, and some toast with jam.
The little fellow was really excited about helping out with this and making momma proud.
Next two below are from a little side creek we went exploring in off of Bear Creek. It was absolutely beautiful and I captured some amazing photos of the children in the light on this creek. These are oviously not them, but rather just some group photos for memories sake.
In the Dismals Canyon on day 3. I really liked how the light was spraying down through the trees into the canyon and caught some good images of it. This is just one.
The waterfall that we all 4 hiked up and across and then down. This crossing is not part of the normal path and is not for the faint of heart or weak. I had to do a little hand holding for the boy on the areas with big drop offs to ensure safety and he was super excited about his accomplishment. All 4 of us were, really. It's the first time we all did it together out of the several trips we have taken to this canyon.
I thought this one below turned out well and exemplifies pure joy.
In conclusion, this trip gave me to time to reflect on many things including the meaning of Memorial Day. As we drove up to the Dismals this year we went throught Hackleburg, AL which was completely demolished by an F4 or F5 tornado. The damage surpassed any that I have seen yet. It reminded us all that there is no guarantee for tomorrow. Tell people you love them often, thank your Veterans, and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to afford you the freedoms we all take for granted some days!